Seeing Shadows

Jewel ZymurgyFaithLeave a Comment

I walk around seeing the living dead.

I see people all around me, people who do the same things I do and I wonder what’s going on inside them.

I see the vacant eyes of a child. A quiet child and I wonder what makes the child subdued. I wonder what secrets he keeps and the reasons why he keeps silent. I remember the things that kept me quiet. The things that kept me silent…and tears flood my eyes. No one sees my tears. No one knows that my heart breaks for the child who is the secret keeper…

I get up to leave and see the girl in the corner. The one that everyone says is different. The one that everyone makes fun of…the one that is desperate to have just one person see into her life. The one that feels pain differently than those around her…the one who will do anything to end the pain that she suffers alone…I am suffocated by her agony. I see the gulf of loneliness that is around her and the anguish of a heart that screams to be seen.

Right next to her…actually, right in front of that girl who is painfully different is the stark contrast of someone who looks to be straight forward and strong. This person gains the attention of those around him. The air that he puts off is tasteful, cool and sharp. He is very used to getting his way and it shows in how he speaks to others in a way that can seem harsh and abrupt to some but to him it’s just facts. While he is in the middle of the discussion he seems to have an almost indifferent attitude to the people he has around him. He largely steers the conversation…though at times when he changes the subject there is something that looks a lot like contempt or rage that flashes ever so quickly in his eyes before it’s gone again. I know that distance. I know that place of keeping others at bay. I know what it is like to be seen and not known. I know that intensity that is just below the surface.

My attention is drawn to the laughter of a lady whose beauty takes my breath away. She is my friend and my sister. The flawless picture of a woman who is at home in the middle of the fast paced, alcohol marinated night time social scene that starts shortly. Her clothes are picked with impeccable intention. They fit her perfectly—revealing, flirty and innocent—all at once. Her giggles fill the air as she makes the perfect companion to whomever she is with…and though she can have a multitude of men or women…she is tortured by the thought that she can never be good enough and instead fills her senses with the intoxicating scent of drugs, alcohol or sex. She looks at me with eyes that beg to share the hurt inside. She hides the grief of much loss behind her painted picture of perfection. I see and know that façade well.

I get lost in my own thoughts.

Remembering when I put on the same masks…

I remember when I was the silent child. I remember when I was the outcast in the corner. I remember when I was the one who kept people at a distance with my sharp tongue or my “don’t come close” air. I remember when I flirted and laughed and moved from party to party and from person to person.

What do I do—where do I go—who do I turn to…when all that I see is brokenness and pain?

I had to leave to join a gathering of ladies. Arriving still weighed down by my own thoughts of pain and sadness. Tired…no…exhausted by the struggle in my own mind. Not sure what to say and how to share with anyone else the things that played and replayed in my mind.

Though we planned to watch a movie, God moved in a different way and we ended up praying for each other.

My heart cry was prayed for in a beautiful way that far surpassed what I gave to the group—it was as if one woman in particular was privy to my innermost thoughts. The concerns and fear in my heart was dispelled by the words of this lovely woman who battled the chaos and confusion and pain that I felt with the Word of God.

I left the prayer time knowing that God whispered comfort to my heart through the words of this bold woman, and I couldn’t help but be in awe of the gift of being known by a loving God whose heart breaks when his daughter is hurting.

I got in my vehicle to drive back to my condo and “Need You Now” by Plumb came on the radio. The haunting and intense music resonated in my bones as I turned up the music and sang at the top of my voice, letting the lyrics wash over me like refreshing rain.

I knew the answer to the questions I asked earlier…

What do I do—where do I go—who do I turn to…when all that I see is brokenness and pain?

The lyrics of the song said it best—“when I walk through the shadows and I am so afraid…Oh, I need you! God, I need you now!”

Joyfully His,


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About Jewel Zymurgy

I’m a mom and a blogger. I grew up in church but my family didn’t live a Christian life. It wasn’t until 5 years ago that I opened a Bible to read it for myself. Now that I know Jesus personally, I am trying to become the woman He wants me to be. I hope my blogs inspire women to love God.

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